Saturday, 24 June 2017

Despicable​ Me 3 (2017)

[**1/2 stars / *****] 

Riding on tried and tested elements from the earlier parts, comic good vs bad premise (dance fight!), twin brother bonding, minions and little girl cuteness, Despicable Me 3 keeps the laughs and sniggers (snigger, snigger!) coming from time to time. 

There is no central bonding force here, but more of episodic scenes, instead of a rollicking main story. Some grating stuff, no particular flow, humour is the superhero here. 

Still, the animation works for its bright-lit proceedings, bubblegum attire, an 80's style (irritating at times) villain and candy-cute kiddy stuff. The minions especially light up sections. A passable, fun watch.

You rate our movie not so good? 

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Mummy (2017)

[** stars / *****] 

An ambitious Egyptian queen-to-be goes on a family murdering spree to ascend the throne. For her sins, she is mummified alive and sunk in a mercury-filled grave. Centuries later, she is unwittingly released by treasure hunter/ US Army personnel Nick (Tom Cruise, chirpy at 55) to wreck havoc. 

We are soon caught in a swirl of curses, evil, an ancient dagger, mummy victims,  and immortality talk. Sounds familiar? 

A friend made a valid point prior to the The Mummy morning show. We are still viewing the same movies that we used to watch in our childhood. The more movies we watch, the more they remain the same? 

Hollywood is so embroiled in sequels and prequels, that more commercial movies are resembling extended, tiresome TV episodes now. 

The Mummy reboot review  The Mummy stands out as the most unnecessary remake in recent times. The reboot does score in eerie atmospherics and some stunning special effects where it lacks oh so badly in the story.  

Russell Crowe's Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde turns are a miss, while Sofia Boutella as Mummy/Ahmanet is great casting. So is a lively Annabelle Wallis as the female lead. But the lack of creative spunk and freshness lets them all down.

Apart from the stunning plane crash sequence, the proceedings attain a predictable quality. Finally, The Mummy entertains thanks to its art direction and cast, but don't expect anything new.

Fresh ideas, please.

The terrific plane crash sequence, the only exceptional take away from the film. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

[**1/2 stars / *****] 

Directed by noted female director Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman ends up as a largely underwhelming, if not a disappointing origins movie. Jenkins brings in sensitivity, friendship, love, sacrifice, and loss, but not a fast-paced, throbbing with adventure superheroine movie I longed for. 

The DC franchise can take heart for their prize casting though. 

Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, her persona, diction, mannerisms spot on. You may well believe that Wonder Woman is actually around, alive and breathing. Such is Gadot's screen impact. Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and Ewen Bremner make a good supporting cast.  

There is an expansive, admirable anti-war theme that blunts possibilities of mad escapist comic book elements, a pity. The 'naive heroine in the city' episode is funny, the motley 'Saving Private Ryan' kind of bonding during World War I, mildly adorable. 

But the much-awaited, scattered action is hardly thrilling, even when the Greek God of War is involved. A dull, cold bad guy negates all fun. 3D is merely present and seldom used to awe effect.

Wonder Woman ends up as just about satisfying on the big screen. 

Hopefully, the forthcoming Justice League movie will bring in the action and team play dynamics together for high-octane entertainment.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Sachin:A Billion Dreams (2017)

[**1/2 stars / *****] 

Sachin: A Billion Dreams could have been a cracker of a feature film. Instead, apart from its initial sparkling reenactment of Tendulkar's notoriously naughty childhood, it walks down a safe, supervised, documentary road. 

Sachin Tendulkar, the diplomatic sports ambassador then takes over to narrating what we Indian cricketing fans more or less know.This 95% documentary/ 5% film is mostly a chronological compilation of everything available on YouTube. 

Don't look for new insights, outspoken statements or controversies. Anjali Tendulkar is the only one to let go, revealing how she had to forsake her glittering medical career for Sachin. She also tells of a grumpy, disturbed Sachin, his guilt and agony apparent while captaining the side. 

There is a distant hint at Mohammad Azharuddin, envy and that's it. The rest is hero worshipping and awe galore. The home videos do add a touch of exclusivity. There are some nice revelations too, but not enough.

Also, director James Erskine's positioning of the little master's journey running parallel to the Indian story is an underutilized film element.       

Sachin: A Billion Dreams review 
Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a watered down, undeniably powerful tale because of Tendulkar's mammoth and legendary efforts rather than the film-making. 

Catch it for the nostalgia and the legendary. 

If you are a die-hard Tendulkar fan, this is your reliving-the-journey moment. 

Sachin! Sachin! 

Oh yes.